News & Analysis

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    Attention Wantpreneurs: Here’s the ONE thing you are missing (And it’s not a fundraising round)

    Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Greg Muender, co-founder of Whttl. The post went through PandoDaily’s usual editorial process and Mr Muender was paid for his work.  In the last five years, entrepreneurship has seen an unprecedented surge in popularity. Where it was once thought of as a profession for just a small (crazy) subset of the population, people are leaving traditional jobs in droves to pursue their own story. Tim & I launched Whttl in October to be the…
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    Rejoice! The War Nerd Dispatches is now available as an eBook and (100 copies only!) paperback

    Late last year, when NSFWCORP was still trying to stay alive as an independent magazine, we launched a crowdfunding campaign to support our journalism. One of the award levels involved us putting together a collection of columns by The War Nerd, our incomparable conflict correspondent. Of course, since then, a lot has changed. NSFWCORP is now a proud part of Pando, and you can find the War Nerd’s latest writing right here. But a promise is a promise: Supporters of…

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    Black Mirror’s new “Christmas Special” takes on robot slaves, smart homes, and blocking IRL

    Every generation needs its Black Mirror. In 1932, Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World reflected the ugliest sides of consumerism, commoditization, and complacency. In 1949, George Orwell published 1984, which warned against how governments used surveillance, propaganda, and fear to control societies. And in 1984, William Gibson’s Neuromancer forecasted the terrifying confluence of big data, the connected self, and cybercrime, years before those terms even existed. Today, with so many of Huxley’s, Orwell’s, and Gibson’s predictions taking shape, and technological innovation affecting our routines and psyches faster than our…
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    Tor founder warns attack on network could be “really bad,” allowing traffic to be hijacked

    Oh boy. For weeks, Pando has been covering the cosy relationship between the Tor network and the US government. Tonight that relationship appears to be on the rocks. Earlier today, Tor cofounder Roger Dingledine (above) published a blog post warning that Tor had received a tip that forces unknown (or undisclosed) may be about to seize one or more of the nine “directory authority” servers which tell Tor traffic where to go. If that happened, Dingledine explained, the…
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  7. Overheard

    “There has not been one major VOD or one major ecommerce site that has says they are willing to step forward and distribute this movie.” – Sony CEO, Michael Lynton

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    Tor warns users of possible attempt to disable its network

    The Tor Project has issued a statement warning that it has learned of a possible “attempt to incapacitate our network in the next few days.” The statement doesn’t identify the source of the alleged threat but warns an attack might come “through the seizure of specialized servers in the network called directory authorities.” After assuring users that their anonymity won’t be compromised in the event of an attack, Tor appears to beg any would-be server seizers not to do anything mean: We hope that…
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    This ruling may convince retailers like Target to take data breaches more seriously

    The data breach said to have affected 110 million consumers who shopped at Target in the tail-end of 2013 might become even more expensive for the beleaguered retailer. According to Reuters, a judge says consumers whose credit cards were compromised via the breach will be allowed to sue the company because the plaintiffs “plausibly allege that they suffered injuries that are ‘fairly traceable’ to Target’s conduct.” US District Judge Paul Magnuson also said earlier this month that banks affected…
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    Facebook releases standalone stickers app

    Facebook has released a new “lightweight” application that allows consumers to add stickers to their images before sharing them with friends via the Facebook Messenger app. The feature is available first for Android smartphones and soon for the iPhone — a rare sequence, as many new apps debut on Apple’s platform first. [Source: Facebook]
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    eBay finally cuts ties with ultraconservative ALEC

    It’s about time. Following in the footsteps of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and practically every other major tech firm that claims to care about the environment, eBay has finally announced it will not renew its membership with the ultraconservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). “After our annual review of eBay Inc’s memberships in trade associations and third party organizations we’ve decided not to renew our membership with American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC),” an eBay spokesperson told Reuters. While ALEC supports a host of controversial right-wing…
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    Judge says alleged Silk Road founder can’t be held responsible for every bad thing that happened on the platform

    As the trial of alleged Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht, gets closer, a federal judge has ruled on what federal prosecutors can and cannot bring up in court. According to Court House News, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest has ruled that Ulbricht can be accused of culpability in the site’s trade in drugs and fake IDs but that it’s unreasonable to blame him for all of Silk Road’s illegal trading. “I want to say to the government that I’m troubled by…
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    Uber launches UberLUX service in LA, offers high-priced rides in Teslas, Mercedes, and BMWs

    Los Angeles is considered by many to be a city of glitz and glamour. It’s ground zero for the entertainment industry and many of the world’s most beautiful people. It’s also a place where your wealth, power, and style – real or perceived – carry abnormally high worth. Uber appears eager to cater to – or capitalize on – this demand for luxury and superficial status, as the company yesterday announced the launch of a premium offering in the city:…
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    FBI formally blames North Korea for Sony Pictures hack

    North Korea has been officially blamed for the recent hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which planned to release a film about killing the country’s leader but ultimately decided not to after the hack took place, by the FBI. [Source: FBI]
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    With rabid overseas demand, home design favorite Houzz looks to triple its international reach in 2015

    After getting a taste of international operation in 2014, Houzz is going back for a second helping in 2015. With overseas outposts currently in the UK, Australia, Germany, and France, the home remodeling and design community will expand its footprint into a total of 15 non-US markets in the first half of 2015 with its sights firmly set on covering all of Europe and much of Asia as soon as possible. “We’re discovered that we have a strong…
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    Instagram receives new $35B valuation

    Citigroup has reportedly raised its valuation of Instagram from $19 billion to $35 billion. The photo-sharing company was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for “approximately $1 billion in a combination of cash and shares in Facebook.” [Source: TechCrunch]
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    SOPA lives? MPAA looks to revive parts of the controversial bill to fight piracy

    The Motion Pictures Association of America wants to implement some aspects of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011, and it’s enlisting the help of state-level lawmakers to do so, according to numerous reports about the association’s efforts. Internet advocates fought SOPA aggressively when it was revealed in 2011. Websites like Reddit, Wikipedia, and Google “went dark” to raise awareness for the issue. Activists argued that the law would lay the groundwork for digital…
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